+64 21 082 56997 info@westcoastdigital.co.nz

Google AdWords: Is it worth it?

As a small business, you may find yourself having to be very selective when it comes to the channels you pay to advertise on.

So are Google AdWords worth the investment for ongoing brand awareness?

Get your SEO in order first

My honest opinion is that if your search engine optimisation game is strong on your website, your website will rank high in search results for the keywords you have incorporated into your website copy, regardless of paid ads.

While Google AdWords gives you the potential advantage of your paid text ad surfacing at the top of the page for these search results, bare in mind you are competing with other companies for those keywords, some who might have bigger budgets, so this will never be a guarantee.

You also need to consider budget, can you afford Google AdWords (their pricing has spiked over recent years) and do you have the resource to allocate to monitoring them and ensure that they run effectively?

Understand your objectives

If the product you are trying to advertise is very visual, you might want to consider using Facebook ads instead, which offers granular targeting that is second to none.

The time I would turn to Google AdWords as a small business would be for a strategic campaign, not ongoing text ads to make your website rank first in search queries.

If you have a product launch, or want to promote your business during a specific time of the year, creating a short term campaign that makes use of TrueView or dispaly advertising in Google could be worth the investment.

So the verdict – 

This is a topic most digital marketing practioners could go on about for hours and might not agree on, but my opinion (again) is this:

  • As a small business, focus on optimising your website for organic (unpaid) search results. If your website is optimised for the specific keywords you want your website to appear for, chances are it will rank high (and if you are fortunate, on the first page), so invest in this.
  • Don’t use Google AdWords for ongoing text ads.
  • Do consider using the Google Display Network for campaigns (not ongoing promotion).
  • Try to use Google AdWords as part of your overall marketing mix during campaigns,
  • BUT if you have to choose between one or the other, I would place my bets on Facebook advertising instead. Facebook is more cost-effective, user-friendly, and its granular targeting can produce incredible results for small businesses. The return on investment is easy to measure with Facebook ads.

So there you have it, my take on Google AdWords. It’s a tricky topic for me to discuss as a digital marketer, especially when I believe in a marketing mix, but I think that if you are a small business with limited budget, there are other more accessible options out there.

If you need assistance with SEO for your website, social media channels, or an upcoming campaign, West Coast Digital New Zealand offers digital marketing services that can help.